Last week, General Electric (NYSE:GE) filed a lawsuit against Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) in federal court alleging that the appliance manufacturer colluded with suppliers to manipulate the prices of household appliance components.
The lawsuit centers on compressors used in refrigerators. GE alleges that Whirlpool, along with two European suppliers, operated as a cartel to limit the production of the components in order to drive up prices, Bloomberg noted.
In addition to higher prices, GE claims that the lack of competition in the compressor market has led to a lack of innovation, which has stunted efficiency for refridgerator products.
In addition to Whirlpool, the lawsuit names Embraco, the company’s compressor manufacturing unit. A spokesperson for Embraco told Bloomberg that the company didn’t think it had harmed GE.
Shares of GE rose fractionally in Thursday morning trading, while Whirlpool shares fell more than 2%.